Thursday, December 23, 2010

Acupuncture at Bondi Beach. Herbs at Bondi Beach

Acupuncture at Bondi Beach. Herbs at Bondi Beach

I have been busy organising my clinic position since coming back from China. I am practicing acupuncture and herbal medicine at 108 Roscoe Street, Bondi Beach. It’s moments from the world famous  beach!

Acupuncture treatment suited for you for pain and many other conditions.

Available are on site pre-cooked herbs in packs that you just drink, courtesy of  an amazing machine  from China. 

The rooms are of a very comfortable and high standard. I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of it. If you would like to know more just get in touch through my email: damienbodnarchuk at
The clinic is run by a very experienced Chinese woman who is  a Chinese university taught practitioner and also lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney.  She often travels to China each year so there are some great hand picked herbal products available as well.

More posts soon of the continuing adventures! Including a look at an acu treatment I had recently and how they used the needles in a specific way. Also a close up look at Helio in Surrey Hills where you can get all of  your acu supplies.

Best wishes and love. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Bondi Beach!
Front entrance of the clinic. All the hand selected herbal imports on display

 My treatment room. Wood and white linen
 Another look at the comfortable treatment room
The amazing on site herbal brewing machine. Precooked herbs ready to drink!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

China review part 3: Tea Ceremony

In my first week I ended up at the Confucius tea house. I had just visited the Confucius temple in the centre of Beijing with a couple of friends from the course and it was a great place to relax after walking around all day. 

We had a great choice of different teas. Though the best part was the tea ceremony. I wasn’t expecting anything and suddenly we were tipping cups, washing tea pots, covering things and paying attention to which finger was positioned where.

Firstly it’s always better when someone else makes a cup of tea for you. A tea ceremony is a really nice journey of water and relaxation. Your hosted and then a gentle process develops . You poor away the first of the boiled water: you cover the tea pot with it. You do one brew and discard the water and then add more hot water. Heat a another pot, wash the cups.

The soothing process of warm water and tea begins to wrap around you. Soon you can smell the aromas of the released tea in the water and a very civilised and pleasant wait for a cup of this rich and delicate gift is shortly rewarded by a dose in the tiny cup in front of you. A few mouthfuls and the you have drunk your cup. Then you are refilled until you want to change teas or you want to have a rest from tea. A rest from tea. That is a very pleasant afternoon when all you desire is a rest from tea.

Later on towards the end of my trip I was running around frantically, packing, organising and I had to go to a supermarket to get stuff. At the entrance were some little open front shops in front of the cash tills inside the supermarket. I was so tired I decided to take a seat at the tea shop.

I had totally forgotten to shop around for tea during the weeks gone past and I thought I would see what this shop had, even though it was a lowly supermarket one.

The clinking of tiny tea glasses brought me right back to the first week and I decided to take a break here. With my back to the busy supermarket tills a 21st century tea ceremony developed. A simpler version of what I had experienced before wrapped itself around me. I was sharing jasmine tea with a random Chinese woman next to me and I decided to try what the customers came in to purchase. What a great experience. I mixed in with the locals, relaxed my busy day away and purchased some really nice teas. There was no rush and after chatting, and deciding I needed a rest from tea, I was able to launch myself into the rest of the day very successfully.

Everybody needs to experience a rest from tea.

Confucius Temple
 Confucius Tea house and host

Myself, Kyla and Jodie enjoying tea

At the supermarket tea shop

Supermarket 21st Century Tea Ceremony

Friday, December 3, 2010

China: Part 2

Also at any moment without sense of hesitation you could be affronted by some stench or other. A terrible rotten sewer assault  to the nose or a rotten garbage purification stench. Sometimes a caustic burnt plastic acridness regaling of nostrils. And then it would be gone. Near the drain of some certain street crossings this would happen and it wouldn’t be long before you knew where to stand to increase tolerance and decrease exposure.

Beijing is even completely different now to how it was five years ago. Massive development and construction. Subways to my mind always seem to be an engrained and established part of a city. So it is surprising to see new ones on street corners not yet finished or to find out that the one near the hotel we were staying  was only a few years old. I was further surprised to find out that the best way of building the first subway in the 40s was to knock down the original giant walls of the ancient city and open dig the subway, then put a roof on. The reasoning was that nothing was over this area and therefore simplifying the building process without having to change the city..! A decision they very much regret now as the few parts of the original city walls left are much celebrated. However to get from one end of the city to the other in 30 minutes is truly great. In Sydney traveling the city is an hour plus of bus and train changes. Such a shame. That’s why the Beijing subway makes the impressive list, and cheap too.

The temple of heaven also impressed me. Tian Ten. The building I guess is impressive but what I most liked were the grounds it was in. Acres and acres of grass and tree parkland. When in the centre, the city just could not be heard. People come here to relax and do Tai Chi and I really liked the feeling of the place. First time I got there it was just coming to dark but I felt totally safe roaming around and checking out the sights. Watching the sun set over the temple and witnessing all its geometry and then walking back through the dark to the main entrance was really uplifting. Total magic.

Another thing I wanted to reflect on was the sight of a kite. When you look up and you see a kite it’s a good feeling. People in China love flying kites. In my first week we were in Tiananmen square and this old guy was getting hassled to move on. He was flying fifty small kites on one piece of string. I just thought in the middle of a city that was incredible and a grown man. Then I forgot about kites. As we came back from the Great Wall all tired and exhausted a week later (more on that soon) we came closer into the city and I saw one red kite way high. In fact it was between two giant new apartments. I have never seen a kite so high. It somehow made the apartments seem small! I thought someone was flying it from the roof of one of the apartments. I was sure I could see someone standing there! Just quickly this reminds me of the story of the first fleet coming to Australia and the aboriginal people not seeing the ship on the horizon. The reverse of what I was doing: imagining something whereas the other premise was if you had never seen something like that before in your whole life you wouldn’t see it. Anyway as we came closer more giant apartments loomed up and I spotted another kite. In total I saw five red kites so high and above all this concrete. It was inspiring to see something so simple, so majestic and towering above everything. Usually its an older guy holding on to a big wheel with 2 kilometres of string coming from it. Just standing there, chatting to people and enjoying his afternoon.
Later on I was walking around the city and ended up in an industrial area next to a canal. I was enclosed by a massive development and a few scraggly trees with giant building cranes towering over me. But above it all: one red kite. 

 Tian Ten (Temple of Heaven) Miles and miles of parkland surround it. So Beautiful and peaceful and surprising to find in a crazy busy city.
 Tian Tan buildings  at sunset
 Tian Ten buildings with cheeky kids (they all took my pics-more about being a celebrity later)
 The park at sunset-magic, but Coooold!
 One of the 800 year old trees in the park
 Friends on the subway
 Industrial area of the canal near hotel
 I promise there is a red kite in this picture, just right of the crane and above it.
 Kites at Tiananmen Square
 The beautiful kites at Tiananmen Square

Thursday, December 2, 2010

China Review: Part 1

I have been back in Sydney, Australia for a week now. It is fantastic!
China has a piece of my heart though. I experienced so many great things in such a short period of time that I am a changed person. More on that later on. As I reflect the words impressive, dirty, busy, engaging, shocking and sweet come to mind and that is just the people I met. Hehe.

Beijing really did impress me. The architecture was so diverse. Rapid new developments next to old rickety houses with weeds growing from the front windowsill. Amazing public buildings: The Beijing National Centre for Performing Arts, shaped like an egg, resting on a lake. Through the main entrance you walk beneath a glass ceiling and as you look up you see the lake’s water above you. A great experience.  Trailing around this area on my bike with immense Tiananmen square on one side with green suited soldiers on every corner looking out to the road at forty five degree angles. Then on the other side the Hutongs. Residents living in semi charming squalor behind a thread bear curtain with a tree in a courtyard and a dumpling place next door on the street.

The dirt! My first day in Beijing the smog was so thick. My eyes burnt, my throat closed up, my nostrils grasped for air. At the end of the day a thick, sticky coating of unnaturalness lined  the back of my throat. Fortunately this was not a daily occurrence. No wonder everybody hacks their lungs out though. In my last week we were blanketed in smog again. As I walked the block of my hotel in the north east of central Beijing I was absolutely shocked to see a tall industrial chimney that I hadn’t seen before pumping out immense clouds of smoke. Day parked cars covered in a thin coating of ash by evening…

Adding to this dirt would be the enormous traffic. There is no rush hour in Beijing. It’s all rush hour. Scootering and hootering bikes and trikes with black Audis (cars of the officials that would drive red lights, honk through and join interchange traffic without stopping). Later I would see Audi ads on TV with the slogan of “better life” and a smiling family. It would seem to have a better life in China you should be a communist official to be more equal than others…

For ten Yuan you can get a ride on a back of a motorbike trike from the subway to wherever close by. Sitting facing the traffic and a thin blanket of a back door flapping around you in the wind as you sped to your destination. I would do that after a boring or tiring subway ride. Invigorating! Also motorbikes cash taxi too. I saw a Chinese grandma getting a side saddle ride back home once.

It is worth noting that a pedestrian crossing in China on a green man doesn’t mean anything about pedestrians and crossing. Cars, especially taxis, will not hesitate to drive through. This is fun when you are in them, but a country needs to sort out a pedestrian crossing properly to be seen as civilised and proper!

 Smog on the first day and street traffic
 First cup of green tea with everybody at breakfast. Note steel tray food plates!
 "A" number plate official's car. Over $AUS1 million to buy. Not even the US president gets chauffeured in one of these. Maybach Sedan (luxury spin off from Mercedes).
 The street outside the hotel in Beijing on a clear day
 Examples of scootering :)
 Some official with a red flag
 Green man doesn't stop cars!
 Best example of transporting stuff on bikes
 Stuff on bikes
 A look at one of those transport bikes
 Hutong toilets. No dividers, no toilet paper. I once had a conversation with a ten year old and his dad while going to the toilet like this!
 Subway !
The Beijing National Centre for Performing Arts. The egg on the lake
The Beijing National Centre for Performing Arts in the background of a Hutong. Like a spaceship has landed!
 Hutong houses ( trike car out front)
Smoke stack near hotel
 close up of the stack

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Updates soon !


Thanks for following my adventures in China! I hope you liked it and got something from it!
Stay tuned as I am reviewing my experiences and posting new pictures soon!

Best wishes and love,

Saturday, November 6, 2010

China Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing: Acupuncture Department with Dr. Bai, part 6. Neuralgia. Chasing the snake around the body.

Another interesting case occurred due to the increased pain level involved.

A female aged 57 presented with day nine of an outbreak of shingles. She had been taking pain killers for 5 days. She was an eye specialist in the China air force.

Shingles is a virus that travels through a nerve pathway of the body. It’s not known why it can re-inflame but it can be from chicken pox years previously for example.

I didn’t catch her description of the pain she was experiencing before she came in but it is well understood to be an extremely painful presentation. We examined the patient and there were red marks on the left side of the back near the armpit and around the left side of the body. Fortunately there weren’t boils or lesions, which is the highly contagious stage of this type of outbreak.

Normal examination procedures progressed, except we were in an open room with 5 interns, 2 assistants and Dr Bai. At this stage all other patients had left though due to finished treatments. The first part of treatment was scraping. This started on the back Bladder meridian and areas reddened straight away around LU, HT, LR and SP Bladder Shu points. As the scraping technique progressed the area indicated was treated. The words “Tong si li” were shouted out by the patient. I know “tong” means pain, but this was a new adaption. Simon (a fellow intern who is fluent in Chinese and English) generously translated that this meant pain like death. The scraping technique continued to below the left armpit area and above the left breast. All these areas are avoided in Western medicine due to the lymph system located in this area. Anyway. At one point TE5, LI4 and LI11 were needled as a pain relief acupuncture which I thought was cool.

The back shu points were then pricked by a lancet and glass jar vacuum cupped. Also around cervical spine 7. The process for the lancet was interesting as both hands were used by Dr. Bai. One hand pushed the area prior to pricking with the lancet with the other hand. This initial body contact makes the process more bearable. Also it was inferred not to take pain killers too. This was stated because it kills ST and SP Qi, some of the areas that came up with initial scraping. The explanation for this on the spot was because in Chinese medicine we are re-cycling everything, unlike Western medicine where things are taken away. As we proceeded one area wasn’t bleeding into the cup enough. The cup  was removed and the lancing process repeated on the same spot. Very painful I would guess. While she was sitting in the chair, arms forward, LI11 was also cupped, but with the needles left in.

Needles were inserted at the left side on the Bladder meridian and retained by being taped down. This was explained as the area of the nerve pathway travels there and therefore treated with acu.

The blood filled the glass cups. It was dark. This was explained in two ways. The virus in the blood making it darker (Western medicine) and the level of pain was reflected in the darkness, or Blood Stasis.

The procedure continued as we followed the snake around the body. The Chinese term for this type of pain that follows the nerve pathway. The snake of course travelled below the armpit and above the left breast. The patient now lying down was pricked with the lance in these areas. Her head twisting left and right in agony as she shouted “Tong si li”. Then cupped in these sensitive areas for further bleeding. Sp 10 was also lancet pricked and vacuum cup bled. Then normal needling to ST 36, StT40, SP6, GB 40, LR3 and an extra “secret” point below GB 34.  I was told 2 or 3 treatments like this would be needed. Not sure if that is cure or hopefully overall massive pain reduction.

In the Western medicine this is a very difficult case to treat, with the strongest pain killers not having any effect and the pain can last for a year in some cases. Hopefully the treatment this brave lady had will go a long way to pain relief and increased quality of life. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

China Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing: Acupuncture Department with Dr. Bai, part five. Electro moxibustion machines.

These machines seem to have the effect of moxibustion, but without the smoke. They were used a lot in the clinic when I attended. They looked quite dangerous but when I checked one out it wasn’t hot too complicated to use. Four leads come off the machine. Each has a moxa heating device. The moxa is encased in cotton and placed inside the device, then that is placed on the body where needed. The face and CV 4 were the most common areas I saw. They didn’t seem to get hot after treatment when I felt them and I was told the moxa could be used for two weeks. The two main advantages of them were no smoke and not having to stand over the patient for a period of time holding a moxa stick. They were left on the patient for a while and were also used if using electro too. The way they were placed on the body was by surgical tape strapped over them and then on to the body.  I’ve included some pictures too.


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